Matt Ryan-Pete Frates bond goes beyond BC roots

Matt Ryan-Pete Frates bond goes beyond BC roots

HOUSTON - You may not root for Matt Ryan on Super Sunday, but the Falcons quarterback is one of the most genuine athletes you’ll come across. The former Boston College star hasn’t forgotten his time at the Heights, nor the people that impacted him at the school. 

In particular, Ryan speaks fondly, and with great pride, about his friend Pete Frates, whom the world later was introduced to as the man behind the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” designed to raise money and awareness for ALS.

“I met Pete at our freshman orientation, so before we even started school he was one of the first people I met at BC and we were friends from that point forward,” said Ryan at Atlanta’s final media availability before the Super Bowl. “He was such a great person to be around, he was friends with everyone and he is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Everyone seemingly at school was good friends with Pete. That’s just kind of the way he was.”

Ryan knew that Frates would be the right person to bring ALS into the public light at a much greater level than it had been prior. That’s just who Frates is.

“It doesn’t surprise me in the least that his personality, his charisma, have created such awareness for the ALS cause and for the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ to catch fire the way it did was a testament to Pete, the person that he is, and the relationships that he has with the people he kind of asked to help out at the beginning and I’m just…he’s an inspriration for me and for all people that know him.”

According to the New York Times, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” raised in excess of $115 million as of late July 2016.


Buffalo blizzard potentially costly to Adam Vinatieri


Buffalo blizzard potentially costly to Adam Vinatieri

The ridiculous field conditions on Hoth Sunday could prove costly to Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, beyond the losing of another game.

Via Mike Wells of, Vinatieri’s two misses in the snowdrifts of Buffalo last week could end up costing the veteran kicker a $500,000 incentive in his contract.

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Packers' Rodgers says he's been medically cleared to return


Packers' Rodgers says he's been medically cleared to return

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers has been "medically cleared to return" to action after missing seven games with a broken right collarbone, the Green Bay Packers quarterback announced on Instagram Tuesday night.

Rodgers was hurt during a loss to Minnesota on Oct. 15 and had surgery four days later. He returned to practice on Dec. 2 and is eligible to rejoin the 53-man roster on Friday, which means the two-time MVP could suit up for Green Bay's game at Carolina on Sunday.

"It's been a long road ... but I'm happy to say I've been medically cleared to return," Rodgers wrote on Tuesday night. "Thanks for all the love, support, prayers and well wishes over the past 8 weeks and a big thank you to Dr. (Pat) McKenzie and our incredible training staff."

The Packers (7-6) likely need to win their final three games to make the playoffs.

Rodgers had his collarbone scanned on Monday morning. That afternoon, with the team in the middle of game-planning for Carolina, coach Mike McCarthy wasn't sure whether Rodgers or backup Brett Hundley would be his quarterback.

"I'd like to know as soon as possible," McCarthy said. "Frankly, it's best for Aaron to know as soon as possible. He's the one that has to get ready and, obviously, in his mind he's ready to go if you watch him practice and the conversations with him. But this is a medical decision and Dr. McKenzie is in touch with a number of different medical experts and they're evaluating the information."

Those meetings ran deep into Tuesday before a conclusion was reached.

The Packers were 4-2 in Rodgers' six starts, including the Minnesota game, where he was hurt on the second possession on a hit by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr. In the three prior games, he threw 10 touchdown passes with only one interception in in consecutive victories over Cincinnati, Chicago and Dallas.

After playing the Panthers, who at 9-4 are in position for the top NFC wild card, the Packers have a rematch against NFC North-leading Minnesota before finishing the season at Detroit. Green Bay's final three opponents have a combined record of 26-13.

The Packers went 3-4 in Hundley's seven starts, including back-to-back overtime wins over Tampa Bay and Cleveland that kept their playoff hopes alive and made Rodgers' return a tantalizing possibility.

"We've got a chance," left tackle David Bakhtiari said after Sunday's victory at Cleveland. "We know what the magic number is. We still have everything in front of us. It's go time."